Many bonuses accrue to the Christian. Some—a constant source of comfort, hope, guidance and help in Christian living—of others, we seem often unaware.

But God has made one promise to his children so staggering in its implications that few of us have begun to live in the light of its fullness. In Romans 8:28 we read: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

This is not a generalized statement as some think. Someone may say that it means “everything will work out well, regardless of circumstances.” But it means nothing of the kind. It is a promise given specifically to those who love God, who are his children—a promise which is specifically and exclusively given to Christians.

Another striking fact is that it is an unqualified affirmation. Paul says that we know this. One of the characteristics of a life separated from God is uncertainty, groping and frustration. The world is restless and many are afraid because they have never found a certainty on which to base their hopes. But here we have a flat statement of fact, something which can be accepted in faith and demonstrated in practice.

Furthermore there can be no question raised of taking a verse of Scripture out of context. This particular promise rests squarely in the center of some of the most glorious truths revealed in the Bible. Paul has just affirmed that it is the Holy Spirit who helps us to pray, that he prays for us according to the will of God. And immediately following this glorious promise of all things working out for the good of those who love him we are confronted with God’s complete foreknowledge, without which such a promise ...

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